Did Hoid lose anything or anyone else because of the Shattering?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
Yes, but a lot happened because of the Shattering.
Did Hoid lose anything or anyone else because of the Shattering?
Yes, but a lot happened because of the Shattering.
I’m absolutely in love with the world I’ve created and have spent years in its building—magic systems, political systems, cultures, races, etc.—but I feel it is not original enough to warrant publication. I have, to a certain extent, trapped myself in the tropes of fantasy—mid to late 13th-century setting, races based off the classics of orcs, dwarves, and elves, and unwittingly I created a nation of people who I fear will be compared to the Seanchan in their intent, if not their culture.
The storyline itself is very original (with the exception of the Seanchan-esque nation), and the few people I’ve spoken to about it have said it sounds exciting.
So I guess my concern is this: do you think I have a legitimate concern in that my work may be perceived as unoriginal and therefore not worth publication? Or can writing style and an original storyline make up for that fact?
My experience has been that writers worry about this more than they should. Now, that’s not to say we shouldn’t worry about it at all—but generally, readers are a little more forgiving of us showing our influences than we think they will be. The Wheel of Time has some very Tolkien- and Herbert-inspired sections, and is generally considered to be a highly original setting, even if it’s true that the Aiel are inspired by the Fremen.
Harry Potter wasn’t actually that original an idea; wizard schools have been a staple of middle-grade fantasy for years. But her combination of everything together was amazing. So I think you can absolutely take tried-and-tested, well-worn tropes and combine them into something that is greater than the sum of the parts.
My suggestion to you is to write the book. I think that, because you’re aware of this possible problem, you’ll naturally take it in different directions. Then give the book to some readers and try very hard not to predispose them toward what your fears are. After they read the book, let them give you feedback. If a lot of them are saying it feels derivative, maybe see if you can make some things more your own. However, most likely they’ll say something like, “This feels like the Seanchan, but in a good way.”
We are all inspired by the things we read, watch, and love. Learning to take this inspiration and make it into something newly yours is part of the process of becoming a writer. Give yourself that chance, and I think you’ll find a balance you like.
Will we ever be seeing an ancient Scadrian symbol for harmonium/ettmetal. I know it didn't exist back then (as far as we know!) but many fans use those style of symbols to represent Hemalurgy.
I don't think we'll see an official version of the ancient symbol for harmonium anytime soon. I believe, in-world, that the Hemalurgists use the Allomantic symbols for the metals.
Is there, or will there at some point be, a glyph to represent ‘the answer’ to the most important step a man can take?
I suspect a two-word glyph pair for the answer could work, though I don't think we have glyphs for those two words yet.
Warbreaker sequel plans please? I'll get my fill with the 10 year anniversary edition, but I'm itching for more. Thanks!
I plan to get to it--but not until Stormlight 5 is done. (Sorry.)
What about The Lost Metal?
Should be soon. It and Skyward 3 will be my next projects, to be done before I start Stormlight 5.
This got me thinking about the older spren with four genders. Do they look more like the parshmen (dull form), or one of the listener forms?
Almost everything about this needs to be a RAFO, I'm afraid. I'll get into it eventually.
I'm going to release [Dragonsteel Prime] digitally (likely for free) eventually. The thing is, I don't think the book is very good--so I kind of don't want people reading it. And beyond that, there are a few things in it that are cosmere spoilers--AND more than a few things that are no longer relevant to the cosmere.
I realize it's a curiosity, however, to cosmere fans. I just don't feel it's equal in writing skill to my two other unpublished books from that era (White Sand and Aether of Night) despite them also having their problems.
I haven't been able to bring myself to say, "All right, here you all go. Read it" because in some ways, it's way more personal for me than the other weak stories from my unpublished days, because it represents me trying very hard (and failing) to boot up the cosmere, so it's extra cringeworthy for me in that regard.
This just made my night, so thank you! That being said, I feel like you have the kind of fan devotion that would allow for a type of “podcast paywall” or “YouTube patreon” situation where those that would want to learn more could be offered some additional information (like Dragonsteel) without having to make the trip to BYU.
I know I would! And I know I would understand that I’m paying for the right to see a rough draft.
I understand this. I think I'm going to experiment with offering Way of Kings prime first, as that one's not quite as bad. I will say this: eventually, I'll release Dragonsteel. I think it's inevitable that I'll bend and give it to the fans, so you don't need to make the trip, so long as you're okay waiting a few years.
Maybe also drop Mistborn Prime/Final Empire Prime the next couple times there's a gap in your publication schedule?
They're technically accessible through email, but having them on the website would make things easier to discuss, and it seems like an easy way to throw a little red meat at the fanbase without putting in too much effort (and you could stretch it out by just putting up 1 or 2 chapters a day).
Yeah, there is enough serious fan and academic interest in my roots as a writer, that I should probably do this, as you suggest. Let me find the right way to do it.
Maybe you could release a digital anthology of all the Prime/Unpublished works?
I'll consider the right way to do this--but either way, I will start trying to get them out to people.
Can I ask for the sequel of Sixth of the Dusk?
It's on the backburner right now. But eventually.
Would tin make sex better?
Yes it would.
I wasn't particularly interested in writing a [Magic: The Gathering] novel that Wizards [of the Coast] wanted me to write, but I was in a position to write something I found really exciting--supported by their creative team, who helped make sure I was getting the continuity right.
I would be interested in doing something else like this, but it would have to be years in the future. I put off some of my own projects (Wax and Wayne 4, mostly) in order to do this, so I owe my readers some time staying on task and doing what I've promised them I'd do.
But, I guess the answer is, "It could happen." Novellas like this, or even something more. Like, I could see (crazy though it would be) moving to Seattle for a year or so and being part of an early lore meeting on a new world, then working with creative closely for the development of that set and writing a novel tied in. (Assuming they'd have me.) I really like Magic's creative team, and being deeply involved in the lore of a world like that would be a lot of fun.
This would be an AWFUL business decision, of course. So it's not anything I could do in the near future.
I wonder what a spike would look like in the Cognitive Realm? I can't imagine how you'd spike a spren in the Physical Realm. Hmm. u/mistborn would probably tell us RAFO.
The big question is LEGO building considered a Masculine Art or a Feminine Art? Seems like it would be feminine, but it would be extremely hard to do with one hand covered.
It would be feminine, but that WOULD be a problem! So they might have some healthy discussion on it. I suspect that the traditionalists would land on it being a feminine art, but covertly acknowledge that most would be built with two hands, then displayed.
The whole "one handed" thing breaks down quickly when poked with too many actual logical points. Like a lot of real-world sexism.
I want a book published of Shallan's illustrations,that would be so awesome.
A collected art book is most likely to happen in the 5-6 gap. Ideally it would showcase every artist and each illustration, plus our many alternate covers, which by then should be well over 100 pieces.
If there isn’t space in that book for the digital ton of ancillary sketches and anecdotes about the work that I’ve been collecting over the past decade, maybe there’ll be a Shallan-focused art book down the line (well, really it would just be a me-focused book, but that amounts to largely the same thing plus extras).
TL,DR: 4-5 years.
Trell the foreman is connected to the religions on Scadrial.
Stormlight is very similar to Atium. Are they belong to the same category, like Investiture manifested near a Shardpool?
Yes, they belong to the same category for sure.
The Lord Ruler write in metal important stuff. Should we need similar protections on "The Diagram" the book? Against Shardic alterations.
No for a very distinct reason and I will get into it eventually
You were the illustrator for Shallan's sketches of Shardblades, right? If so, huge props for Sunraiser - it's so interesting that you chose such an iconic and historically accurate design, yet still managed to ornament it in a believable Shardblade style. I'd definitely buy one for HEMA if replicas existed, which is something I wouldn't say for most fantasy swords.
For those of us who know what that style was used for, it has some odd implications - like the fact that someone at some point was halfswording with a Shardblade, and seeing fantasy authors acknowledge halfswording always makes me geek out! Was this design a specific order from Brandon or were you just tasked with making a more knightly sword for the king and did your own research?
So, there's a few different things going on here.
One is that, way early into the project, I did a bunch of silhouette studies for Brandon so that we could zero in on just how nutty he wanted Blades to be. From those studies he's picked out a few that we referred to when drawing the Blades in Oathbringer, and one of those in particular became Sunraiser.
He did specify that he wanted Sunraiser to be simple and traditional and purposefully in contrast with other Blades. The long ricasso wasn't a call for half-swording in particular, but that doesn't preclude the use of that technique, and it's likely that the original spren that became Sunraiser was probably used by a Radiant with some experience in wielding oversized two-handed blades.
From a Watsonian perspective, it's worth remembering that Shardblades are impractical interpretations of practical tools. Spren made themselves into what they thought swords were, but because of their nature the result became more about the spirit or the concept of a sword than about the requirements of forgery or physics or the practical needs of sticking pointy bits into other people.
Every level [of Urithiru] is about 18 floors, internally. I think we decided each level was about 15' tall, for about 270' in height per tier, but those are loose numbers and may not precisely reflect the final dimensions.
So overall it'd be roughly the same size as the Burj Khalifa right?
Taller, but only by a bit (I say this because I've got a comparison shot somewhere in my internal docs and I remember it being juuuust a bit taller). And significantly wider, of course, the topmost tier is still wider than the Khalifa at its base. Even with the .7G allowance it's a wonder the whole thing doesn't collapse into itself.
I hold out misguided hope we may eventually get a sequel with [Obliteration]. u/mistborn are you listening :-) ?
Listening. I'm trying to find a way to do some more Reckoners, now that the Apocalypse Guard fell apart.
Does that mean that Apocalypse Guard will not be done? The last news was that you would do it with Dan Wells!!
Dan did a pretty good revision, but at the end, he felt it was still missing something. We agreed that it might not be right to do now. Maybe someday I'll release it to fans, and see what they think the problem is.
Elhokar's Shardblade has all ten orders.
Just to stir the pot for giggles, I can confirm that Brandon specifically called for that particular detail. Hence the extra bit of the glyphs next to the Blade.
Could not tell you why though... he never told me! :)
Every Blade depicted in the Shallan art so far (except perhaps that cleaver-looking beast in the dueling drawing) went through multiple design passes. He definitely cares how they're depicted.
Are the two Shardbearers sparring at the bottom of the page holding Mayalaran and Oathbringer?
Not Oathbringer for sure, because we have a particular Oathbringer design. That chopper is of no particular provenance at this time, at least that I know of.
Though it's not unheard of for Brandon to pick a design that I had thought of as being "throwaway" and elevate it to something significant. :)
Well done. I had a difficult time with the whitespine's anatomy, to the point of largely redesigning the body again just before the deadline (we wrote an article about it on Brandon's blog, I think? -EDIT- We did! ), but you've interpreted it nicely considering the limited reference.
Missed the vestigial claws behind the primary legs though (sorry, your quality kicked my AD brain into gear :), and the skin could be bit smoother/slicker on the flanks (they get more shellie as they dry out, so maybe he's very dry).
Oh snaps, you're right! I missed that detail :*( He did come out a bit chunkier than I think I would have liked (I imagined them looking a bit more agile and bug-like and less "tanky"/dragon-y than this) but alas I just went with it since I was having fun.
The interview talks about a bunch of the design motif stuff we went through. There was an active need to step away from the chunkier arthropod/crustacean thing we had done with chasmfiends and axehounds and cremlings, and start to widen the field a little more. I think you were right to push away from being tanky-dragony. What you have here is remarkably close to some of our earlier designs.
At the end I was thinking of the flanks being clad in a sort of sharkskin, merging with the bonier protrusions along the spine flowing just under the skin... as the creature dries out, the skin contracts and even cracks with mineral buildup, and it becomes more rocky/tanky. It needs the storms to stay active, otherwise it's inclined to go into a sort of hibernation to conserve energy unless prey comes near. I imagine as things dry out, they crawl into cracks and hollow between the stones and blend in, waiting for the next storm. Still ready to snatch up prey or even emerge to hunt when prey draws near.
When the weather is wet, they're out and hunting all the other critters that come out to feed in the aftermath of fresh rainfall and the newly stripped, tossed landscape. Then they fill out a little and become more like sleek sharks stalking the mountains and chasms. They get shinier and smoother and more able to move quickly. That's when they become the real terror of the hills, stalking like wolves or tigers but climbing like goats.
It's still a mishmash design, it's not really as cohesive as I would have liked. There's room for evolutionary improvement... after all there's probably always another breed. Southern Whitespines, if you will. The Great Northern Rockback Whitespine. The tiny but deadly Deep Chasm Whitespine. The sleek and slender Eastern Spinybacked Whitespine (much more needly). I'm making all of this up as I go, but that's half the secret to doing this at all :)
But no I'm really excited for the Darkside stories. We've got some great ideas for those. Now I think we're going to make sure that they have a consistent artist, that's our goal. That's our big goal, consistent artist.
Will you do it with Dynamite again?
We will see. Dynamite we liked as a company. The biggest thing we didn't like was the switching artists too much and so we'll go to them and say can you guarantee us a single artist and the book sold really well so I think they can afford to pay better and get somebody. Like, you know the artists were all great but it was obvious they didn't want to stay on it because it was too much work for the pay I think.
What's the Dark One right now... like the film?
Oh yeah Dark One is looking great. So we have the television show that they announced so I can talk about it. I didn't leak this--with Joe Michael Straczynski, right. Yeah, they already leaked that. And Joe will write the pilot of that some time this fall or this winter. But we have the graphic novel, it's going full steam ahead and then we'll be doing some audiobook versions so they'll be like the graphic novel or an audiobook and you can just kind of choose. There won't be like a traditional novel for it probably, it will be audio or.
Will the story be the same?
It will be from the same outline but there might be small deviations based on how the graphic novel but we're trying to keep it close together. The television show? No idea. Alright, because we have a really great show runner involved and they know television, they might do. But the audiobook and the graphic novel, the audiobook should be prose narrative so not just the quotes, so... and this should be graphic novel, both from the same outline we'll see how it goes.
Does Nazh want his knife back, the one he gave to Kelsier?
Yeah, he would want it back but it's not like the flute. It's not something that was super super important to the person who gave it away. So he would like his knife back eventually, but you know, nothing important.
Before the Shattering, was Worldhopping from Yolen possible to other worlds like Roshar, etc.?
I'm gonna say yes, it was possible--but it was a lot more difficult to pull off. Not nearly as frequently as now.
And I've got, we'll do two more of the fashion pieces.
Yep, we got two fashion plates in the work also. Cause I love how those looks.
The Thaylen one with *inaudible* is good.
Yeah, the Thaylen one looks great.
We're still deciding on what we're doing.
The next were going to have all the Spren from Shadesmar like-
All the Radiant spren.
All the Radiant spren, you know well nine of the Orders we're going to get all nine in.
We're going to do yeah, we talked about the tenth.
Yeah, we're probably not going to do the tenth.
We're going to have to wait until after the book is done to decide.
But they'll be nine of them at least. They're looking very cool, I'm very pleased with how those are. They're very like these natural history illustrations and so.
They do look nice.
The second one is Starsight and the third one will be?
Probably Nowhere is what it's called. My US publisher doesn't like that title but I do because they go to Nowhere so we'll see if they persuade me not to use the title. That's the working title right now.
When will it be in the English?
Published? It's probably not for a little while because next year is Stormlight 4 and everything I have is dedicated to writing that and so I won't start Skyward 3 until January at the earliest and probably turn it in. So I would guess two years from now would be when we would see Skyward 3. It depends on whether I write that or the last Wax and Wayne book next.
The Dark One graphic novel is coming out I think next year sometime? Did you also... Were you also involved there or was it more...
So, Dark One, we are less involved with the actual...
We're giving them a lot more freedom because it's not Cosmere which means that their interpretation of Dark One we can let a lot more things slide because there's not a continuity happening to get in that way.
So... Dark One is looking fantastic. They are so far doing a really amazing job. I think people are really going to like it.
Yeah, the cover already looks fantastic.
What we're trying to do is to do a graphic novel where we give people a little more freedom and so my outline is pretty solid but for art direction things go with more what you feel. They send us their impressions and we give them responses but were not being nearly as, with the Cosmere we have to try do the detailing.
And if they were to send us something we didn't like we would let them know but so far they just, the art is, I love the art in it.
And like I said the cover already looks pretty amazing.
The art is amazing. The interior art like, and it's really fun because I can see exactly how my outline is turning into their scenes and things in a really fun way. I'm really hopeful. I don't know whats going to happen with the television show. That's honestly more up to Joe [Joseph Michael Straczynski] then it is to me. I mean I should be there for the writing room meetings and things like that but really we're letting Joe go and...
How far has it progressed since it was announced that Joe would run the show?
How's the progress? He's finishing up a pilot for something else and then he's working on this. I don't know how far... if he's gotten to our pilot yet or not. I haven't received it yet so it's not done. Yeah, that's what I heard back in September he was finishing up another pilot so sometime soon he should be working on a pilot for this.
We're going through and trying to fix all of those things for a later version that Dynamite will put out, just small inconsistencies. We will get rid of the boombox, we will get rid of the second IV because we got it in the first one. I don't how we missed it in the closeups. For all I know we told them to erase it, and that one they just didn't get to, so that's funny.
I do not know if they have IV technology, on Dayside in particular. You could maybe, probably not, but you could maybe argue it on Darkside.
In Allomancy, bad alloys can be detrimental to you, can make you sick and stuff like that. Does it also apply in Feruchemy or generally impurities, do they apply?
Not as strongly.
How would they apply? Is it more like a smaller charge or?
It would just take less of a charge. It wouldn't make you sick.
When we have an unkeyed metalmind and then we also store a keyed charge in it, which one would get tapped first?
I'll RAFO that.
When you store multiple memories in a coppermind is it still technically one large coppermind or could you say it's more like a ton of "virtual" metalminds, because you're technically tapping individual ones?
More like the second. I would say that's accurate. I mean I'm not sure that really aligns one to one but it is another good model, though.
Somebody also theorized along the lines that a nicrosilmind is a lot like an Honorblade in that you just have, or they said, do you only have to touch it in order for it to work, or do you actually have to tap it?
Oh... I'll RAFO that.
Then we also talked about, theorized about unkeyed metalminds - that is Identity-less ones that anybody can that has the power can tap.
We also were wondering is it like, we compared it to cryptography and encryption, stuff like that. Is it just that like, your Identity is sort of this unique encryption key.
And you need a key to you getting it. That's a valid line of theorizing. It is not exactly but it's close enough to be a good model.
And would an unkeyed metalmind theoretically be capable of storing a little more than a keyed one.
Oh, because of yeah.
Because it has to... Is it inherent to the Investiture or is it like an extra bit?
I'll RAFO that, mostly because I haven't considered that yet.
All right, regarding the 'Wisdom Shard' again. We have one quote where Hoid... I'll just cite it: "Some men, as they age, grow wiser. I am not one of those, for wisdom and I have always been at cross-purposes." Is he referring to that Shard there... or the Vessel?
*thumbs up, grins* ... Yes.
We tried to develop a theory of what a metalmind actually is, and we know that splitting a metalmind can halve the charge effectively or divide the charge.
It can divide the charge although it makes it much harder to, yeah.
But is it actually physical... is the charge concentrated physically at one point or is it more like a gas so it diffuses?
Do you actually store something related to...do you store the actual attribute or do you only store like an Investiture representation of an amount...
You store the Investiture representation.
So the metal is just the focus that says this will turn into this.
Then I was wondering about the Dysian Aimians or the Sleepless. Do they reproduce at all, and if so how does it work? Like is it that one... is it asexual if they do?
So they reproduce, yes. But reproduction for them has a variety of terms. They can breed specific cremlings for specific purposes over time if they want to. They can also exchange cremlings if they need to, in order to improve their genetic diversity. Creating a new one is a different experience but yes. In fact, they... I've written sections, not for the books yet but where I talk about them developing and over evolving one of their cremlings to do something new.
Okay. If they do reproduce does it require two of them or is it more like they breed enough and then they split one off.
That's a RAFO for now, but the individual's consciousness is an interesting thing for them.
Does aluminum actually store Identity or is it more like a sink so you just dump it in and it poofs away.
I'll RAFO that for now. Sorry, I want to get into that eventually.
You also said... somebody asked whether there are points in Shadesmar where you could instantly travel across diametrically opposed points on a planet.
Right, there has to be.
Of course, I heard topology last year in university and it's all about mappings and stuff like that and so I was wondering just how continuous - if you know math term - the mapping from like the Physical Realm to the Cognitive Realm is.
It's not very. You'll notice already elevation is not mapped, you can find points in the books already where someone appears closer to the sea level and things so it's not very... there's a lot of bending going on and it gets worse or more obvious the further the series goes. Not a one to one correlation, not even close.
So it's not just that it's very compressed it actually doesn't match some things.
Yeah, no. Imagine that things in the Physical Realm are mapping to places in the Cognitive Realm but not, they're not alternate dimensions of one another that are overlapping one to one.
On the Discord also they tried to... because the moon is always like on the horizon and they did the math and technically it's possible but it would have to change its inclination I think through one hundred degrees every turn. Is it natural or is it also maintained by...
It is also maintained by the system. We ran the math on that one too. It, like, the Rosharans also are not in a stable orbit but this one's even less in a stable orbit, let's just say that.
Somebody did like the universe simulator thing and somebody ran it to Roshar and they said it crashed into each other.
I mean they would, we find we got like ten, no like a hundred thousand years before it happens but yeah, the moons are very not stable on Roshar, let's just say that. I'm not convinced that the continent is stable either. On geological terms I don't think... if Roshar were as old as Earth is, you would not have a continent, is what I think. Even with the crem and stuff.
The crem isn't enough... you said before that it shifts east?
That's what I think, I haven't done the math but that's what my instinct says that it wouldn't be enough. But we'll leave that for people who actually run the math until they... because I do not have time to get a degree in ecological science.
We also know that Taldain is not natural, the placement, tidally locked. It can happen naturally but it is not natural for it. You also said it was done by somebody, was it Autonomy or was it Adonalsium?
In May, in Germany, you told me that... or I asked whether Wisdom was a Shard, and you said it was or something like it, and that wisdom was close to an intent of a Shard, and you also told me that it has realized that survival isn't necessarily the most important thing for it. I wanted to ask whether it has realized that over time or was it from the get go?
Okay, so then naturally, my next question: Is it the survival Shard?
And then somebody actually came up with another good probable name. Is Prudence close?
Prudence sounds an awful lot like a Shard name. That's some excellent theorizing there.
So we know that aluminum resists Investiture or blocks Investiture in some cases. Does it act like radiation protection like lead or something that actually gets deteriorated while it's resisting something or is it like, does it just interfere?
RAFO, good question.
I read Mistborn: Secret History and you put some stuff from Elantris and I love it. In second Elantris will we see some?
Yes, we will.
Do you need to love writing to be a writer?
I think a lot of writers hate writing so I don't think it's required. I know a lot of writers who hate writing but love to have written if that makes sense. A lot of writers do love writing but a lot of writers love to have written.
Do you think, at the end of Calamity, did Nighthawk ever get his wife back?
Yes, he did. There's just a little bit more to that story than that answer, though.